The Goddess Ishtar

Many anti-Catholics accused the Holy Catholic Church of worshipping the pagan Babylonian goddess Ishtar for venerating the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven. They cited Jeremiah 44:16-17 that says: “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm.” But does this verse implies also pagan worship of Mary?

The fact that a pagan deity was known as the queen of heaven does not mean that the title cannot rightfully be applied, in another sense altogether, to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The pagan king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, is called the king of kings by Daniel (Daniel 2:37), yet this does not preclude the Lord Jesus Christ from being called by the same title (Revelations 17:14; 19:16).

Since the destiny of all Christians is to reign as kings and queens with Christ in heaven (Ephesians 2:12; Revelations 1:6; 5:10), and since Mary is the pre-eminent Christian, there’s nothing wrong with giving Mary the title “Queen of Heaven” which Jesus Christ, the King of kings, bestowed upon her in making her his beloved mother.


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